I have a confession to make…I’ve been a pretty shocking vegetarian over the years. That’s not to say I’ve been a bad vegetarian (as in running around eating lots of meat) but rather just not eating very well. Being healthy just wasn’t a priority.

There were the teenage years: As long as I was thin I didn’t care. The post Louis years: really didn’t care. The University years: The dog and I were so poor we lived on marmite and toast. The mummy/working years: Too busy to care plus being the only vegetarian in the house I just fed everyone else and ate cereal myself.

It all adds up to many years of not really caring about what goes into my body – especially true in the pre-girls years when I was sustained mainly by cigarettes and wine.

So, what changed? Has anything changed?

Well, quite a bit actually. The cigarettes and wine diet went out the window when I conceived my eldest daughter so I’d like to think my body is starting to forgive me – frankly, I’m an absolute lightweight these days, two glasses of wine turns me into a dizzy blonde with an impending hangover.

We can thankfully afford more than toast and marmite these days, even the poor dog got to enjoy some decent food in her old age and just about forgave me for the barren student years!

The fact is I’m lazy. Being a mum and trying to work means long hours, I’m the cook but I can’t always face cooking for myself. I also prefer light meals so I would just make a bowl of cereal or soup and eat while I cooked – dinner is always a sociable time in our house and the girl’s know I eat different food because I don’t eat meat.

I’m acutely aware that I don’t want my girls to grow up with food issues, we have an emphasis on sport and being strong in our family. I’m slim but I don’t deny myself anything or talk about calories (Starbucks hot chocolate is pretty much a daily occurrence) I try to place the emphasis on enjoying the food you want in moderation and being active.

However, I have always been aware that I don’t really consume the recommended fruit/veg, vitamins, minerals…This came to the fore when pregnant as my iron levels weren’t just a little low, they were shocking and realising that health professionals were concerned was a bit of a wake up call for me. I did my best to eat well during pregnancy and took iron medication.

Between pregnancies, and now after, I haven’t been so careful, in fact I fall into old habits quickly. After a spell of feeling unwell and generally tired I had blood tests and discovered my iron level was just 6 and I was severely anaemic. I should say it’s not all down to diet, I have terrible periods that last an average of 8 days, I can barely leave the house for first two days (sorry, TMI)!!

That was 12 months ago, since then I have been on liquid iron and totally turned my diet around. I’d like to say this is a total success story but it’s actually a bit of a work in progress, along with so much in my life!

I got my levels up to 11 and my hb to 125 but this week found out my Ferritin has dropped back down to 8, good news is though my hb is still at 125 so I’m not classed as anaemic at the moment – which is great as I was going to have an infusion which doesn’t sound like much fun!

So I need to get my levels back up to stop my hb from dropping. I don’t want to feel tired and poorly, who does! I’m going to be sharing what works and what doesn’t along with some easy recipes that have got me eating a balanced diet after years of neglecting myself.

My levels might not be super great but I certainly feel a lot better and I look better too.

Onwards and upwards, I hope!


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12 Comments on Healthy

    You Baby Me Mummy
    16th October 2014 at 7:23 pm (4 years ago)

    I am glad you are feeling better. I feel the same about not wanting my daughter to pick up my bad food relationship/body image. We will get there x #AllAboutYou

    17th October 2014 at 5:44 pm (4 years ago)

    Friends have told me that eating a completely nutritious and balanced diet as a vegetarian can be quite tricky. I can only imagine even more so if yours is the second meal you’re preparing. Well done for making such great progress.

    • Claire
      17th October 2014 at 7:16 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi, Thanks for your lovely comment. I think I never really gave a lot of thought to the nutrition side of the things (the way you don’t when you’re young and caught up!!). It’s a bit of a process at the moment forcing myself to get cooking more, it has got the whole family eating more vegetables though so not a bad thing! X

    17th October 2014 at 6:26 pm (4 years ago)

    I can relate to not caring much about what goes into my body. I’m glad that you’ve been making some changes to help you feel and get healthier. I want to let you know though that even if HB is fine ferritin being low can still indicate anemia. I had this problem a few years ago and the internist advised iron supplements anyway. #PoCoLo

    • Claire
      17th October 2014 at 7:19 pm (4 years ago)

      It really is a struggle to be bothered sometimes – unless it’s chocolate, somehow I can always manage to bake a cake!! I should have said in my post that Dr put me on liquid iron last year – makes the drop in levels all the more disheartening, but on the flipside I know I’d be in a much worse position if it wasn’t for all the changes I’ve made! Thanks for reading! Xx

    Verily Victoria Vocalises
    18th October 2014 at 4:23 pm (4 years ago)

    We’ve been on a juice fast this week and are now having soup and juice – in a bid to not only lose weight but boost our health! We have been putting it off for far too long. Good luck with your regime :) Thank you for linking to PoCoLo :)x

    • Claire
      18th October 2014 at 7:36 pm (4 years ago)

      A friend of mine did a total juice fast and said she felt amazing – I’ve been tempted but I can’t seem to stay away from Starbucks, at least it’s liquid I guess!! One of the best things I’ve started doing is a breakfast green juice, I’ve found it’s the easiest way for me to get a shot of iron and start the day in the most positive way! Good luck with the juice fast, hope you’ll let us all know how it goes! Xx

    Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    18th October 2014 at 4:26 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m a vegetarian too, for almost thirty years now, and I have definitely had periods where I didn’t eat terribly well! I’m a lot better now, and things like Quorn (and the US equivalents) have been great for getting protein into me, and mean I can cook for the family and no one feels like they are completely missing out! I can still be a bit hit or miss though… Although I make sure the kids eat well :) Sounds like you’ve made some really positive changes x #PoCoLo

    • Claire
      18th October 2014 at 7:43 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for your lovely comment. My family quite like Quorn too, especially the mince as lasagne – I’ve been vegetarian so long I really don’t trust myself to cook meat from scratch, my limit is fish fingers and ‘prepared’ meat! I’m scared of poisoning everyone, I tend to burn things cooking it through! It is difficult juggling what everyone else needs isn’t it – if I worried about my own nutrition half as much I’d probably have no problems at all! Xx

        Sara (@mumturnedmom)
        19th October 2014 at 4:23 am (4 years ago)

        I avoid cooking meat too, although I will now cook sausages and chicken, but that’s about as far as it goes! I really miss decent prepared meat that I can just chuck in the oven, M&S was my saviour!
        I have however fooled people people with my Quorn lasagne, to the extent where I’ve had to argue that it was vegetarian :)

    Hannah Mums' Days
    20th October 2014 at 8:57 pm (4 years ago)

    My periods properly suck too (always room for TMI with me love!). I definitely drink too much wine and coffee, and have a general lethargy about my person – I really have to psych myself up to exercise! It’s silly really as I know my actions are self-destructive. I look forward to seeing how you get on! xx
    Thanks for linking in to #AllAboutYou

    • Claire
      21st October 2014 at 8:34 am (4 years ago)

      I do wonder if self-sabotage is a female thing, my husband just doesn’t seem to beat himself up half as much about things and it seems a much lighter way to live! I have made some really positive changes over the last year, it’s been a bit of a snowball effect, changing one thing led to another. My daily Starbucks habit is going nowhere though! Xx


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